Today's post isn't going to be about para para at all. I know, that's disappointing. But this is something I have wanted to post about for awhile, so here it goes!
Let me preface this story for a bit. As a girl that does para para, I'm always comparing myself to Japanese girls. I know I'm not alone here! It's hard to accept that I'll never be that size, but I mean, it's really not feasible. I have a bigger frame. I've always been on the curvier side. I got teased a lot when I was young. You know the story. So many girls have it. Anyway, I had a bit of a body image problem. I always felt that I was too fat, that my hips were too wide, my boobs were obnoxiously big, my arms were always waving hello all the way up, my nose was big, my hair was poofy and frizzy. I mean, we all have these concerns. Even girls that we curvier women look at and envy have their own concerns.
For unrelated reasons, I started going to counseling back in January. One of the things my counselor said to me really STUCK though. I had mentioned that I was appalled that I've gained a lot of weight in the past year or so and that I needed to lose it and I was fretting over it. That's when she told me a little bit of life changing wisdom:
"In order to make real life changes, you have to learn to love yourself as you are right now. You have to find the sexiness and beauty in your physical self right now, if you don't, you'll never truly be happy. You'll always say you need to lose that extra five or ten pounds and then you'll be happy, but that will never come. Love yourself now and if you lose weight, it's just an added bonus. Diet and exercise will come from wanting to be healthy and this will lead to healthy life changes, not yo-yo dieting."
It was then that I decided to do something. . . drastic.
Burlesque has always been interesting to me, though it isn't something I ever imagined myself doing. I love the costumes, the glamor, the confidence, the talent, and the sense of humor that I've seen displayed in the lovely ladies that I've watched perform. As someone who loves being on stage, I thought, you know what, if I could get past my self consciousness, I could make a knockout burlesque performer.
Luckily for me, the Rose City School of Burlesque had just opened its doors and they were recruiting students for their first class starting only a few weeks later. So I took the plunge.
I went through a six week course covering all aspects of burlesque including history, costume making, character creation, dance, as well as stage makeup and hair. It was an amazing class that really combined my love of performance with my love for fashion. (And I mean, seriously, burlesque performers can apply for a 30% discount off of MAC cosmetics. How freaking amazing is that?)
But, while the sessions were fun and informative, the end of the class was the terrifying part: At our graduation ceremony, we had to do a solo routine that we came up with on our own that included stripping down to pasties and underwear (traditionally a g-string, but new-found confidence or not, I have my limits!).
Now, for someone as insecure with their body as me, that was terrifying! But in my time in the class, I learned how to make myself look fabulous and fierce in a corset and stockings and how to use a garter belt to cover up a couple of flaws.
I decided to do what I do best when I'm nervous and kind of make a joke out of it. My routine was to Teeth by Lady Gaga and I was dressed up as a dentist. My routine involved all sorts of questionable things like me grinding on a 3 ft tall toothbrush and flossing myself with a feather boa that I pulled out of a giant prop floss box.
And last night, when I performed that act for the public, I learned the most important thing of all: I am HOT. Even if I gained 30 pounds in the past year, I am freaking gorgeous. I am smokin'. I had the audience eating out of my hands! I could make them laugh and make them swoon. It was the most amazing feeling.
I can honestly say that I can look at myself in the mirror now in just my underwear and not see the tummy flab and the wide hips: I see something gorgeous.
And THAT is an amazing thing.
So, if any of you girls out there need to learn to appreciate yourself on a whole new level, I totally recommend learning some classic striptease!
(Here's a quick, blurry picture of me before I went on stage.)Posted by Kristy